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It Might Still Be Summer But...

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

I have been shopping for winter coats. Yup, you heard me. In August. I didn't intend to be so organised but it just seemed to work out that way. Please tell me I'm not the only loon who has been out buying heavy, warm coats when it's still technically summer.

Last year's coat is no longer an option. *Cue comedy photo*

I had no plans to buy anything quite so early in the season but whilst wandering through Monsoon I spied this beauty and it had to be mine. We will skirt over the fact that it's velvet and therefore can't really be worn in the rain because it's beautiful and it's green and that's good enough for me. Plus I had a nosy round what was on offer in some of the other shops and most of the bog standard boring black jackets were around the same price or lots more expensive so really, it wasn't such an outrageous buy.

In a entirely frivolous display of spending, I then went out this evening and bought a more practical option. I have wanted a pea coat for ages and was spurred on by Kate of Make Do Style's post about her pea coat purchase. Ok, so her budget was considerably larger than mine but I'm very chuffed that I tracked this one down, and in Sainsbury's of all places! Only £45. Only! Ha, I'm so stingy I still baulk at paying that much for a coat, especially after just having bought the rather more expensive velvet one. Anyway, I know the camera is dreadful so please excuse the photo - hopefully you can still see it.

And for the days when both of those are too plain, I can always bust out the crazy Kookai tapestry coat I picked up a car boot sale earlier in the year for £3.

ps - I've guest posted over at We Shop Therefore We Are - pop by and check it out!

Horsing Around

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I feel as if it's been a really long time since my last post. Sorry girls! I'm sure you don't want to hear about how boringly busy I've been, so I'll skip the excuses and move onto the fun stuff.

The ever-so lovely Char came for a visit this weekend. We shopped till we dropped yesterday - I have major shopper's guilt going on but have got some lovely things - and then spent our Sunday being culture vultures. The Tate gallery has had a Picasso exhibition (Peace and Freedom) running for ages now and as it ends tomorrow, today seemed like a good time to go! I'll be honest, my taste in art runs towards the more classical side of things but this was really fascinating and I'm so glad we went.

There were lots of other floors and galleries, including one section that had been co-curated by Wayne Hemingway. I've never been given a pair of headphones that played disco music and encouraged to dance in the middle of an art gallery before! Being the bashful type, I did it for ooh, all of 2 seconds (not helped by the fact that the music was not v. good) Fun though.

It might look sunny in these photos but it was so windy and chilly today! The coat was a must. Fun locations for the photos though, yes? The first one of me was taken outside the Tate at the Albert Dock and the second one was next to a random mural of a monster and teddybears that we happened upon whilst walking up a back street. Char came up with the better pose though:

Dress - Primark
Leggings - Dorothy Perkins
Boots -Evans
Coat - George
Earrings - Eclectic Eccentricity

I bought the dress in yesterday's shopping trip. Here's a little close up of the print, and also of one of my favourite mugs, a present from my brother. I'm very much enjoying all the animal print pieces in the shops at the moment and although I managed to resist the many horse print cardigans around, this fab dress just had to be bought.

ps - still in mourning over my broken camera. It feels weird not having it with me - it used to be an everpresent in my handbag. Today's pics were all taken on my phone so I'm blaming the rubbish camera on that for the fact that I look weird (ie mahoosively double chinned). And Char for making me laugh, obviously.

Second Hand Stylings - The Final Day

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I conspicuously failed in my efforts to go second hand from top to toe today. Yet again I was in a rush in the morning and had to grab anything that was clean and ironed - quite a limited choice! So it's turned out to be quite a High Street based outfit (with most things bought on sale) but with some second hand accessories - just how I like it.

T-shirt - Gap
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Cardi - New Look
Espadrilles - Office
Beaded bracelet - random little bead shop
Necklace - 20p at a car boot sale
Bag - £1 at a car boot sale

I think I am mildly in love with the bag. It's such a fabulous fun mixture of granny bag shape and funky tapestry that I can't stop smiling whenever I look at it. I think it's probably not very old as it's in perfect condition but there's no label inside it so I can't really tell. The man at the car boot sale that sold it to me used the immortal words "it's like a Mary Poppins bag" - well, if I hadn't already got my grubby mitts on it then that would definitely have persuaded me!

Thank you for the challenge
Vix! I've really enjoyed this and it's definitely made me think a lot more about putting an outfit together. I've got quite a few bits and bobs that I haven't featured during the challenge but I'm sure they'll make an appearance over the coming weeks and months. I wish I hadn't been quite so busy during the two week period that I attempted the challenge as I would have liked to do proper daily outfit posts but hey ho, I would probably have had to leave it till October if I'd waited for a quiet fortnight.

Second Hand Stylings - Days Eleven to Thirteen

Monday, 23 August 2010

Well then, I'm back from Kent. The stupid hotel was trying to charge £5.99 for internet access so that explains the gap in posting. I thought free wifi was pretty much standard nowadays? Ramada, I hereby name and shame you.

I've had worse technological woes than that though. I've killed my camera. I don't know how I did it or what exactly the problem is, but half the photos I took one day are fine and the rest are coming up with weird horizontal lines on. It's not the memory card so it's definitely the camera and I fear that might mean an expensive trip to the shops. I've borrowed one for the time being but it's not very good so expect lots of Picnik style effects to jazz them up for the foreseeable future.

Day Eleven

The blouse is technically a second-hand piece but I've already blogged it before, so I shall focus on the boots as the main part of today's outfit. The camera was playing silly beggars and put a huge shadow on my legs so you'll have to see the close up boots pic for a better idea of what they look like. They were a super duper swap with Queenie. I think she originally got them from a car boot sale so they're probably more like third hand (not that that bothers me in the least) and in very good nick. I can't place what make they are because there don't seem to be any distinguishing labels anywhere but given they're quite wide in the calf, they might well be from Evans.

Blouse - ASOS via Barnados charity shop
Vest - Primark
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Earrings - Accessorize
Ring - New Look
Boots - swapped, not sure of make/label

And the day's reading was this rather fantastic book. I'm a big fan of Golden Age crime fiction (Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers etc) anyway but even if I hadn't been, I'm not sure I could have passed over a book with "Aeroplanes, haute couture, and a skeleton in a dinner jacket" written on the cover.

Day Twelve

The second hand item for the day was a piece of jewellery. I am a terribly faffy packer at the best of times and it always takes me an inordinately long time. I found packing for my long weekend away even more stressy than usual due to this challenge and eventually decided that some jewellery would be an easy choice and not take up too much room in the case. I must say, my grandma had some surprisingly funky jewellery which I'm very lucky to be able to wear now. Quite why she chose this patterned dog tag type pendant I'm not sure, but it's fab.

Horse print dress & plimsolls - Primark
Cardi - Hawkshead
Leggings - Dorothy Perkins
Necklace - was my grandma's
Giant gunnera plant - Leeds Castle

Day Thirteen

Again I relied upon some inherited jewellery as part of the challenge today. I really love this silver gate link bracelet and don't wear it often enough.

I also added the owl necklace. I think I've explored most of the ways that things can be sourced second hand but I haven't so far mentioned one of the most satisfying ways - refashioning stuff. Unless you're a super minimalist, you're bound to have loads of things that just live in your house. This owl was part of a keyring originally. I have no idea who bought it, where it came from or how long it's been around but one day I decided to take it off the keyring and put it on a long chain. Voila, a cute necklace!

Dress - Florence & Fred @ Tesco (needs taking up - feels a bit mumsy at this length)
Cardi - Primark
Ancient flats - Dolcis
Bracelet - was my grandma's
Necklace - cobbled together

Now I'm off to see if I can pull together something smashingly second-hand for the last day of the challenge!

Second Hand Stylings - Day 10

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A wedding! My cousin Jess's wedding to be precise. She's the first of us to get married so it was a very jolly occasion and everyone had an amazing day. I'm a tad hungover today so I'll keep the words to a minimum and just put up lots of pics instead.

All the cousins (minus Martin who couldn't come). L-R - Andrew, Ken (my brother), Jay, Jess, Andrea and moi.

Taken about two seconds later!

Let me introduce you to the gang...

Andrew and his beautiful fiancee Kate

Gemma, my brother's girlfriend. T'was a tad chilly so she pinched his jacket. There's a gorgeous H&M bodycon dress underneath it.

Uncle Ian & Auntie Pat

Andrea & Becca

Mum and mother of the bride, my Auntie Diane

And to get back to the second hand challenge...

I had planned for my dress to be the second hand item as I bought a fab floral frock from a car boot sale a couple of months ago. Slight horror when I tried it on on Tuesday and discovered that the shape of it did not suit me at all. I had to resort to the only other properly dressy frock in my wardrobe and subsequently change all the accessories that I had picked out. So the second hand item ended up being my Nan's engagement ring which I think is a much nicer and more meaningful feature anyway. Jess also wore some of her jewellery - a string of pearls as a bracelet - so even though she's been gone for a long time now, at least part of her was there to enjoy the day.

Dress - Uttam
Shoes - Carvela, in the Kurt Geiger sale
Wrap & bag - M&S
Headband - Dorothy Perkins
Earrings & necklace - 18th birthday present
Ring - inherited from my Nan
Bangle - Shared Earth

Second Hand Stylings - Day Nine

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Today's second hand item is a rather snazzy polka dot silk scarf, originally from Topshop but mine for the bargainous price of 50p at my local car boot sale. My scarf collection has increased massively recently as I've discovered I have a huge weakness for them. I do have to be careful though - as someone with quite a short neck, I can't really go in for the usual way of wearing them. But luckily there are lots of different ways to work them into an outfit. This one started off as a headband with the ends trailing down as a feature at the front, but I decided it looked better as a belt.

I suppose the shoes can also be classed as second hand as I seem to have secured them on permanent loan now. Oddly enough they're a size 5 but fit both my mum (size 4) and me (size 6).

Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Scarf - Topshop via car boot sale
Pumps - Dorothy Perkins, borrowed from Mum

Second Hand Stylings - Day Eight

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Rain today meant a very hastily snapped outfit picture. It sort of looks as if I have sculptured flicky hair but it's just shadow and a brick wall. This is what happens when you've got the camera propped up on a picnic table with the aid of a pebble and you only have time for one photo before the heavens open. The unpredictable weather did result in the glorious image below though. What a lovely treat to walk out of the office to.

Today's second hand item is the top - Jane Norman courtesy of a local hospice charity shop for £1.99. I think that the brolly may also be second hand. I'm not entirely sure where it came from but I know I didn't buy it. Does anyone actually buy brollies? I think they breed under the bed and then leap into my handbag - I discovered three in mine the other day and I couldn't tell you where any of them originally came from.

Top - Jane Norman via charity shop
Cardi - New Look
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Pumps & oversized ring - Primark
Earrings - craft fair

Second Hand Stylings - Day Seven

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wow, half way through already!

I haven't marked the halfway point in any great style I'm afraid. I'd go so far as to say it's all a bit of a mess. This is entirely due to the fact that I was running very late this morning and hadn't sorted out an outfit last night before I went to bed. I am a complete night owl, therefore I am AWFUL in the mornings. Truly awful. I can barely function for the first half an hour I'm awake, so my outfit picks don't tend to be the best.

I clearly hadn't noticed that these leggings have got horribly baggy or that I shouldn't really have worn them in the first place because the black doesn't go with everything else. I don't own anything in shades of brown or tan that can be worn on my lower half though - I blame trauma from a school play in primary school where I played a tree and had to wear hideous brown leggings.

Ah well, onto the featured item of the outfit - this lovely bag. 50p from a very nice old lady at a car boot sale. I've had a quick google of the manufacturer (Celli) and not discovered very much but should you fancy your own bag, there's one on ebay ending tomorrow afternoon. I don't care about brand names though - I like it very much and it has lots of handy compartments so that's me happy!

Top - Dorothy Perkins
Leggings - Marks & Spencer
Brogues - River Island
Bag - Celli, via car boot sale
Earrings - no idea!
Ring - Dorothy Perkins

Second Hand Stylings - Days Three to Six

Monday, 16 August 2010

Evening all! I have returned from my jaunt up North and so here is a round up of the past 4 days. This challenge is really making me think, especially when it comes to packing for a weekend away. I don't think my wardrobe is necessarily lacking in second hand goodies but it's not always easy to work them into an outfit, particularly one for a specific activity like horse riding! Let's see how I did:

Day Three

Just a normal day at work, with most of the evening spent driving up to Newcastle. I went for comfort rather than anything too form fitting - I just can't drive any distance in things that make me feel constricted. Do excuse the boots please. I don't usually go round in fake Ugg type things but my feet got soaked walking from the car park to the office and these live under my desk for such situations.

Today's second hand item was the green and white polka dotty dress. I spotted it hanging up at a car boot sale and made a beeline for it. I'm not sure where it's from as the label has been cut out. Cost - £1

Black slip - Dorothy Perkins sale (£1!)
Leggings - M&S
Dress - car boot sale.
Cardi - Hawkshead
Headband - Topshop
Mary Poppins locket - Etsy
Tibetan silver earrings - a present from the wonderful Vix

Day Four

On Saturday's agenda was a trip to Hadrian's Wall. It was chuffing windy! I decided to go for a fairly practical outfit and add a secondhand accessory - this beautiful stripy scarf. I found it in Oxfam whilst rummaging round in a huge basketfull of vintage scarves and I think it was £1.50. It must have slipped during the photos cos it actually looked quite funky but I'm not so sure that's come across in the pics.

Jeans, vest top & cardi - DP
Boots - Evans
Bag - ASOS
Scarf - vintage, via Oxfam.

Day Five

This one was tricky! I was staying with my friend Claire and we went riding - I borrowed her pony Star and she rode a friend's horse. Utter bliss. I used to ride all the time and even if I do say so myself, I was pretty good. It's quite dispiriting to get on a pony for the first time in years and feel all wobbly and rubbish but Star is an absolute sweetie and looked after me. I can't have been that bad as we had a canter round a huge field at the end and I didn't fall off, woop!

It amuses me when fashion labels go in for equestrian chic. In my experience, it usually consists of horse slobber, a faint layer of dust and minging hat hair. Tricky to look stylish whilst wearing a hat that makes you look like a giant mushroom but I'd rather protect myself from brain damage than look beautiful.

Today's second hand item was sourced in the most classic of ways - handed down from my big brother. An added bonus of losing all the weight is that I can fit into his discarded stuff and he has so many nice tshirts.

Polo shirt - French Connection, hand-me-down from my brother
Jodhpurs - Aldi
Walking boots - Lidl (seriously, bravo the cheaper supermarkets. These boots have lasted so well)
Hat & gloves - Robinsons

Day Six

And today has been yet more zooming around on motorways. I stopped off in Hexham to explore the charity shops (they're brilliant, I bought loads!) and then got back to Liverpool in time to see a fab little British film called Skeletons, with a Q&A with one of the actors afterwards. Sadly it wasn't Jason Isaacs (Hello Jason Isaacs! I know at least one of you will get that reference...) but it was brilliant. Track it down and go and see it. Pretty please. They have no marketing or promotion budget as it's such a small film so it's all reliant on word of mouth.

Not a massively interesting outfit today as I ran out of brainpower when packing. The second hand item is the vest top, a snip at 99p from ebay. It's probably the pinkest thing I own and isn't the sort of thing I'd usually buy but I was getting something else from the same seller and thought why not. It's a bit big though so I probably won't wear it again.

Vest top - Dorothy Perkins, via ebay
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Cardi - Hawkshead